I am not buying the “blame the media for John McCain” theory of why hardline Conservatives couldn’t get the candidate they wanted. But there is a lot of sense in this:
What a bizarre coincidence that a few years after the most draconian campaign-finance laws were imposed via McCain-Feingold, our two front-runners happen to be the media’s picks! It’s uncanny — almost as if by design! (Can I stop now, or do you people get sarcasm?)
By prohibiting speech by anyone else, the campaign-finance laws have vastly magnified the power of the media — which, by the way, are wholly exempt from speech restrictions under campaign-finance laws. The New York Times doesn’t have to buy ad time to promote a politician; it just has to call McCain a “maverick” 1 billion times a year.
The whole thing is worth a read if you think the campaign process is broken. And, yes, McCain deserves a lot of the blame for the brokenness, though he’s had a lot of help before and after breaking it. I’m still not buying the “it’s his reward for McCain-Feingold” theory, though.
I’ve had a couple of people who not long ago told me that they were truly shocked that McCain was even in the running let alone on the verge of getting the nomination, that they thought he was out of it a year ago. More recently these same individuals, disgusted with McCain, told me, in effect, “Yeah, big surprise. Who didn’t see THAT coming?”
Well, they didn’t, first of all. They had already told me they didn’t. But now they’re running around like they’re Cassandra and no one listened to their prophecy of doom.
On the other hand, I personally have thought all along that McCain was likely to be in the running down to the wire, mostly because I couldn’t believe that Giuliani or Romney were all that electable and I didn’t know who was going to challenge him. (This was from back before Fred Thompson was in, but, then, he was never really in at all, was he?)
Like today, yesterday I didn’t think he’d be viable because he was all that great but because I just didn’t know who was going to be around to challenge him. I still don’t.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to vote Democrat, though. And I’m not abstaining, because I did that in 1996 and am still disappointed in myself for it.
UPDATE: I clarified my wording in the second-to-last paragraph.
Like today, yesterday I didn’t think he’d be viable because he was all that great. I just didn’t know who was going to be around to challenge him. I still don’t.